Friday, February 23, 2007
After spending much of yesterday traveling after his court hearing in the Domincan, Juan Uribe came into camp bright and early this morning, took part in workouts and then met with the media.
"I’m gald to be here and glad to be part of the team again," he said through a translator. "This whole incident has been tough for me and my family. I’m glad it’s over."
Uribe again reiterated his innocence in the entire incident, which occured in the Dominican on October 13. While the issue may arise again when he returns to the Domincan after the season ends, Uribe should not miss any time during the summer, according to his agent, Martin Arburua.
"Juan has no more requirements related to the case," Arburua said. "There is a hearing on March 17 regarding the other two individuals, but Juan is not required to attend. He has no legal obligation to return to the Dominican during the season."
Several reporters questioned Uribe, Arburua and manager Ozzie Guillen about the safety of Latin players returning to their countries during the offseason.
"It’s hard for us to leave our countries," Guillen said. "It would be hard for me to live without Venezuela. We’re heroes there and people look up to us.
"But this does send a message to be careful."
Uribe said his accuser repeatedly approached him asking for money.
"But I waited it out, and waited it out, and now everything is fine," he said. But Uribe said one incident won’t make him change his mind about spending the winters in his small hometown.
"You can’t blame an entire city or country for the actions of one guy," Uribe said.
Ozzie On His Shortstop
"We need him to get on base more, score more runs and strike out less," Guillen said. "We need him to have a good year and the key for him is to stay in shape. He’s working with Joey (Cora) here every day."
Threw today and stopped by my office to pick up his complimentary Titleist golf balls from playing in Monday’s charity tourney.
"The way I play, I need all of these," he said. We then watched Tiger Woods hit a drive way right during today’s match play action. "That looks like me."
Bobby Jenks has agreed to shave his head to raise money for the St. Balderick’s Foundation. Details to follow in later posts …